Does the United Kingdom’s Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Scheme for Primary Health Care Enhance Partnership Working?

Cletus Agyenim-Boateng, Anne Stafford, Pam Stapleton

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Abstract

This article draws on a qualitative case study comparing two U.K. primary health care schemes which were entered into as part of the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) policy. LIFT takes the form of a social infrastructure Public Private Partnership (PPP) where public procurers and private suppliers work together in active long-term partnering agreements to deliver local primary health care facilities. The organizational structure is that of a joint venture company which is jointly owned by public and private partners, with the expectation that by having both the public and private sector represented on the company board partnership working between the two sectors is enhanced. The two schemes studied delivered contrasting results. One scheme showed how the private sector dominated the board, making partnership working difficult to achieve in the context of directors following their fiduciary role to maximize profits for shareholders. However, the findings from the second scheme showed that partnership working and LIFT success may be dependent on trust, general business ethos, and key personalities working together. Policy makers should therefore pay attention to not only the organizational structures, but also how the private sector controls and governance are exercised to benefit all stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Works Management & Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • governance
  • health care
  • partnership working
  • public works public private partnerships
  • roles
  • social infrastructure

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